Art in corona times 21. Gerard Verdijk, Works on paper; Kunstmuseum, The Hague

Thanks to a donation of works on paper by Gerard Verdijk (1934-2005) there is a small presentation of his work at the Kunstmuseum, just next to the big A.R. Penck exhibition.

Though he wasn’t born in The Hague, he lived for a major part of his life in this town and undeniably left his artistic marks here.

There have been retrospectives of his work in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and even twice in Dordrecht, but in spite of that Verdijk has only become a household name to very few artists and art lovers.

The present exhibition – recently reopened when anti-corona measures were alleviated a bit, difficult to find on the museum’s website, and unclear in how long it will be there – may give a clue to that underrating.

Almost each work on show has the magic to suck you into the intimacy of its composition, such that you may even feel a voyeur; that is, if you really surrender to these works.

I have no idea how long these works will be on show, so hurry to see them!

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the estate of Gerard Verdijk and to the Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 20. Some of my favourites of the Mauritshuis, The Hague

Johannes Thopas

The Mauritshuis is not a big museum but it has one of the most wonderful collections of 17th century painting (and more) in this country.

Willem van de Velde II
Paulus Potter
Aelbert Cuyp

Before the Corona crisis it was quite easy to walk in with a museum card, just for a lunchtime visit, to see your favourites, discover new favourites or some interesting details.

Jacob van Ruisdael
Meindert Hobbema
Jan van de Cappelle

Within half an hour you can see just enough masterpieces to get on with life for another few months.

Jacob van Ruisdael
Karel Dujardin
Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin

Now, of course, you have to make a reservation for a certain time of the day, there is no real time slot, because once in, you can take all your time.

Frans Post
Albert Eckhout

In every room a maximum number of people are allowed in, and corridors in between the rooms are closed.

Frans Post

Adriaen Coorte

So, with the tourist season started, it sometimes takes some patience to enter the rooms.

Adriaen Coorte
Willem van de Velde II
Mauritshuis 18 Rembrandt van Rijn
Rembrandt van Rijn

On the other hand, visitors seem to have more attention for individual paintings.

Rembrandt van Rijn
Salomon van Ruysdael
Jan de Bray

It may be a terrible loss for the museum to miss so many visitors, but the atmosphere has improved enormously.

Pieter Claesz
Hendrick ter Brugghen

After all, a museum is not a supermarket.

Judith Leyster
Quiringh van Brekelenkam
Gerard ter Borch

Very happy to be there again, i made a lot of pictures of  which i made a selection to show you.

Jan Brueghel I & Peter Paul Rubens

Some are mere details, like the frog by Paulus Potter (3rd photo), which is part of his famous painting The Young Bull of 1647.

Willem Buytewech
Jacob van Campen
Hendrick Avercamp

One of the paintings i try to see every visit is The Herding Boy (9th photo), a small work by Karel Dujardin (1622-1678).

Willem Claesz Heda
Clara Peeters

It‘s not a big deal really, but for one reason or another i’m always attracted to it.

Jacob Jordaens
Peter Paul Rubens
attributed to Jacopo de’ Barbari

Alas, at the moment you can only see it with either reflections in the glass over it, or covered by your own shadow.

Michel Sittow
Hans Holbein II
Hans Holbein II

Other works i’m always happy to see are the small collection of portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger  (1497-1543) (photos 39, 40, 42 and 43), surely one of the very greatest painters of the Northern Renaissance.

Joachim Wtewael
Hans Holbein II
Hans Holbein II

Seeing them i usually forget about Rubens, Rembrandt and the whole lot.

Bartholomäus Bruyn I

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the Mauritshuis, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Façades of The Hague #114

Jacob Catsstraat tram stop, Parallelweg opposite Jacob Catsstraat.

Designed in 2013 by the municipal engineering office, it was probably built in 2014.

In this rather desolate corner of town, the top of the tram stop is embellished with proverbs by Jacob Cats (1577-1660).

Cats was an influential Dutch politician, poet and lawyer.

He was a rich landowner and for some time he was grand pensionary (raadpensionaris) of Holland, the most influential province in the Dutch republic.

Quite a few of his proverbs are still more or less in use in the Dutch language.

However, most of them tend to be forgotten in today’s vernacular.

At least we now have still a few of them in a tram stop.

© Villa Next Door 2020

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Art in corona times #19. George Stubbs; Mauritshuis, The Hague

The Mauritshuis museum says on its website that George Stubbs (1724-1806) belongs in England “without any doubt, in the panthenon [sic!} of eminent eighteenth-century British artists like Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and J.M.W. Turner.” Apart from the fact that Turner (1775-1851) – although he grew up in 18th century – is generally regarded as a 19th century romantic, one can wonder if this is meant to be a compliment.

Reynolds was without any doubt a good portrait painter, but his portraits are for their contents only interesting for those who are not bored with flattering images of self-indulgent, haughty people. But anyway, the English and the visual arts seem to be married in loving misunderstanding.

Stubbs was a painter who studied the anatomy of horses. Horses of the nobility that is. They all seem to be full-blooded and shiny.

Probably Stubbs’s greatest achievement is his book The Anatomy of the Horse of 1766. The Mauritshuis shows some of his wonderful, comprehensive illustrations.

They are drawn with great care, curiosity and dedication.

He painted his horses with the same great care, but in his paintings horses also become objects of representation, property.

They are shiny and perfect in their tamed wildness and anxiety, even in their eroticism, which is somewhere in between the male and female.

They have become symbols of civilisation, of how the English tamed the World.

The landscapes around them are mere decors, and don’t seem to have any influence on the glowing perfection of the horses.

Although Stubbs was also interested in other living creatures (and their anatomies) his portraits of horses became very popular amongst the rich.

Imagine a millionaire who wants a portrait of his best Maserati or of his private jet.

To be short: the drawings are great, the horses are well painted with great knowledge, the paintings themselves, as paintings, are uninteresting.

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the owners of the works and to Mauritshuis, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Art in corona times #18. Janice McNab, Richard Sluijs, Lawrence Malstaf & Marjolein van Haasteren, A new world; Stroom, The Hague

Janice McNab

Stroom asked artists in The Hague which more or less recent exhibition or work of art they would like to see under the present circumstances and why.  The present exhibition presents proposals by Annechien Meier, Janice McNab, Richard Sluijs and Jorrit Paaijmans.

Janice McNab

McNab shows paintings by herself. She made them twenty years ago as a project called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity – The Isolation Paintings.

Janice McNab

These paintings deal with people who are extremely allergic to chemicals, and who have to live a life in isolation. Indeed these are moving works under the present crisis, although isolation doesn’t seem to be much of an issue anymore.

Janice McNab

Which goes to show that even a crisis itself is an historic construction with different phases of intensity and remembrance.

Richard Sluijs

Designer Richard Sluijs proposed to show again his book about suicides during the Banking crisis Complete Lexicon of Crisis Related Suicides – 2008-2013 / Volume 1.

Richard Sluijs

Leafing through the book may give you the idea of walking in a very sad graveyard, almost a war cemetery.

Lawrence Malstaf

Jorrit Paaijmans suggested SHRINK 01995 a performance piece by Lawrence Malstaf in which a person (in this case the artist himself) is vacuum-drawn in between twee plastic sheets.

Lawrence Malstaf

Watching man, helpless in his own protective isolation, indeed gives an extreme idea of the oppressiveness of the human condition.

Marjolein van Haasteren

Annechien Meier suggested a painting by Marjolein van Haasteren: The Storm. The work reminded Meier of the present situation the world is in.

Lawrence Malstaf

Due to the refurbishment of the gallery (a great improvement indeed) which allows more light and sensitivity, the works in the exhibition are even given a sense of isolation.

Richard Sluijs

Sluijs suggested to give his book a place near Stroom’s entrance but has now been given its own place, its own chapel so to say, in Stroom’s main gallery.

Janice McNab

As for my own private suggestions for works that are revalued by the present crisis, i refer you to four articles (in Dutch) in Villa La Repubblica: click here, here, here and here .

Janice McNab

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists, the owners of the works and to Stroom, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times #17. Danielle Dean, Continental Private Road; 1646, The Hague

To be honest i was disappointed about Danielle Dean’s  present show at 1646. A reason may be that Dean couldn’t be present to build up the show, as would have been usual under ‘normal’ circumstances, or that my expectations were too high. Also the works on show looked somehow unfinished.

They have at least the potential to generate more meaning. In the front room of the gallery Dean shows some work about Fordlândia, the disastrous, devastating and ill-fated project by the Ford company in the Brazilian Amazon jungle in order to break the British monopoly of world rubber trade in the 1920s. She combines that story of violent racism and imperialism with the working conditions of the present day Amazon.com company.

However, the different components of the work fail to become more than just an illustration of the story. The front gallery also shows advertising for the Lincoln Continental car of 1965, a model produced by the Ford company. It shows the car parked in front of some supposedly private woodland where the owner of the Lincoln is checking her mailbox.

The same woodland, without the car, the lady and the letterbox, but with the private road sign, is the starting point for an animation in the main gallery space. That animation is visually the most interesting part of the show. Important is of course the detail of the private road sign.

However, imaginative and haunting as the animation is, one cannot see much more than a somewhat Jungian dream-like situation in it. Do go and take a look for yourself, as you may feel  differently about the show.

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Danielle Dean and 1646, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Façades of The Hague #113

Small house with apartment, tucked away from the main street, Dunne Bierkade.

Probably originally built in the first half of the 18th century.

© Villa Next Door 2020

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Art in corona times #16. Fred Sandback, The measurement of space; Nest, The Hague

I made a reservation for a time slot at Nest to write a review about the present show of work by Fred Sandback (1943-2003) for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review in VLR (in Dutch).

As i have written already some reflections about the exhibition in VLR, i leave you here with some pictures, which, i hope, will inspire you to go and take a look yourself.

Click here to read the review in VLR (in Dutch).

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the estate of Fred Sandback, Nest and Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 15. Dan Zhu, Tobias Gerber, Martin Assig & Ronald Versloot, Drawing Now (and Unlocked/Reconnected); Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Dan Zhu

Drawing Now art fair in Paris didn’t take place this year because of Covid-19. So Maurits van de Laar is presently showing in The Hague what he might have shown in Paris.

Dan Zhu

Dan Zhu (1985) is (as far as i know) the newest in the quartet of draughts(wo)men presented by Maurits van de Laar.

Dan Zhu

As she already showed some years ago at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, she has a fine sense of the transparency of the medium, combined with a haunting imagination.

Tobias Gerber

As part of the national art online show Unlocked/Reconnected, Tobias Gerber (1961) is showing a series in which the world is seen through a keyhole in a closed chest.

Tobias Gerber
Tobias Gerber
Tobias Gerber
Martin Assig

Martin Assig (1959) is showing works of his ongoing St. Paul series, partly homage to Paul Klee (though very influential, Klee seems to be condemned to a minor role in art history because of the small size of his works and their content, which is stylistically difficult to define), but especially stylistically inventive in its own right.

Martin Assig
Martin Assig
Martin Assig
Ronald Versloot

Very rich in their moods and ideas are the fine crayon drawings  by Ronald Versloot (1964).

Ronald Versloot

Maurits van de Laar is able to show this profusion (in these pictures you see only a tip of the iceberg) of drawings because he left the partitions of the gallery, made for Chritie van der Haak’s show, intact, enormously increasing the capacity of the gallery space.

Ronald Versloot

The exhibition itself shows a very strong quartet of draughtsmen indeed, with inspiring and very imaginative drawings, and it will take you some time to see it all.

Ronald Versloot

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© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to all artists and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 14. Chung-Hsi Han, Inge Reisberman and Eelke van Willegen, Metamorphosis; Kadmium, Delft

Eelke van Willegen

Nature and the world around us change constantly, as, indeed, we do ourselves too, even without knowing or noticing it.

Chung-Hsi Han

Changes may go slowly or abruptly and they make us change our views, perspectives and moods.

Eelke van Willegen
Chung-Hsi Han

The idea of metamorphosis is part of our lives.

Chung-Hsi Han
Chung-Hsi Han

As such it is an extremely wide ranging concept, especially for an exhibition, like the one presently at Kadmium called Metamorphosis.

Eelke van Willegen
Eelke van Willegen

Maybe the most metamorphosis related work in the show is Inge Reisberman’s (1959) video Top of the lake which immerses you for almost seven minutes into a dreamlike state wherein colours and shapes slowly change, lighten up or fade away.

Chung-Hsi Han
Inge Reisberman

Strongest works on show by Chung-Hsi Han (1958) are, in that respect, Metamorphosis IX and X, both existing of four landscape-like drawings which more or less flow into each other.

Chung-Hsi Han
Eelke van Willegen

In Eelke van Willegen’s (1974) sculptures metamorphosis is present like in any other work of art; after all, making art is, in itself, a matter of changing materials and ideas or reshaping them.

Eelke van Willegen
Eelke van Willegen

However that is no problem as Van Willegen’s sculptures almost literally shape the whole exhibition.

Inge Reisberman
Eelke van Willegen (sculpture), Chung-Hsi Han (drawings)

The show itself was opened in April, mid-Covid-19 crisis, but Kadmium itself is spacious enough to receive a few visitors and to keep a five feet distance.

Eelke van Willegen (sculptures), Chung-Hsi Han (drawings)

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to all artists and Kadmium, Delft.

Bertus Pieters

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